News & Updates

Summary of 2013

Nationally and regionally, the Department of Psychiatry's mission and impact in research, clinical activity and education have grown considerably.

Research

Despite substantial nation-wide cutbacks in federal grant support, the Department's total federal funding has grown 15% over the past two years. In collaboration with other departments in the Neuroscience group, we successfully applied for the Empire Innovation Fund, which will provide us with an opportunity to recruit new members of our research faculty.

Additional successful grant applications in 2013 included:

  • Wendy Kates' NIH (National Institutes of Health) grant to investigate the association between functional and structural brain connectivity, as well as a sabbatical award to assess psychosis in intellectually challenged youth;
  • Steve Faraone's AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) grant to establish a web-based program for teaching primary care doctors to diagnose and treat adult ADHD;
  • Steve Youngentob's grant renewal from NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) for a collaborative research center.

This year has been remarkable for recognition received for the department's research leadership:

  • Shilpa Sachdeva, one of our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry residents, won the 2013 Scientific Research Poster Award at the annual meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association;
  • Paula Trief won the President's Award for Advancement of Affirmative Action;
  • Steven Youngentob won the President's Award for Excellence and Leadership in Research;
  • Wendy Kates won the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities;
  • Roger Greenberg won the National Register of Health Service Psychologists Alfred B. Wellner Distinguished Career Award, the highest award bestowed by the organization and commemorating numerous significant contributions to psychology during his distinguished career;
  • Steve Faraone was listed by Microsoft as the top cited psychology researcher in the United States and was also promoted to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor, the State University of New York's highest faculty distinction. With that distinction, Steve joins an elite cadre of professors within our department: Roger Greenberg as Distinguished Teaching Professor and Mantosh Dewan as Distinguished Service Professor.

It is an unusual and remarkable achievement to have 3 SUNY Distinguished Professors in one department!

Clinical Activity

Over the past two years the department has established 10 new regional contracts to provide care to underserved populations across multiple counties in New York State. A few of the exciting programs arising out of these contracts include:

In our clinical service to the hospital, the latest data indicate a record number of inpatient admissions and a record number of clinic visits, despite staffing cutbacks on both services. In addition, the flow of mental health patients through the Upstate Emergency Room is substantially better than national average, a tribute to our Consultation-Liaison Service.

The medical directors and interim directors of psychiatry services in 2013have provided vital leadership as we move forward with EPIC, our new electronic medical record, new Current Procedural Terminology codes, a reduction in State funding, and a host of new federal and State and independent certification agency regulations.

Education

Educational excellence is a central part of our identity as a department and we have maintained our tradition of excellence. This year we recruited 5 full-time faculty members including:

  • Sandy Antoniak, a triple-boarded Child and Adolescent and Forensic psychiatrist;
  • Nanette Dowling, a former Chief Resident and our first fellowship-trained Geriatric Psychiatrist;
  • Anthony Weiss, a neuropsychiatrist who was also appointed University Hospital's Chief Medical Officer;
  • Kate Walia, who has joined our Consultation/Liaison service and is another former Chief Resident; and
  • Fred Cohen, a Forensic expert to join the Department as Teaching Professor.

We also have a number of new faculty members at the VA and Hutchings who are making substantial contributions to our academic mission:

  • Dr. Jeannine Bordonaro
  • Dr. Harriet Bursztyn
  • Dr. Nick Gelormini
  • Dr. Haizhu Liu
  • Dr. Vilas Patil
  • Dr. Seetha Ramanathan
  • Dr. Arthur Roemmelt and
  • Dr. Gary Rosenberg

On the other hand, sadly, we have had some losses from our voluntary and full-time faculty this year, including Hector Britto, Suzanne Heon, and Jill Thomas. Moreover, two outstanding faculty members will be leaving us at the end of the year: Cindy Carter, our child psychiatrist in the Child and Adolescent Clinic and Helen MacGregor, Lead Psychiatrist at the VA. A big Thank You to both for many years of dedicated excellence in teaching and clinical care!

At the undergraduate level, student ratings have been very high from our substantially revamped behavioral science lecture series and clerkship rotations. On the Behavioral Sciences section of the USMLE Step I, our students scored a half standard deviation above the national mean, which I believe is the best performance they have ever done, and substantially better than on any other content section of the examination. This year, moreover, we have had a record number of our medical students choosing psychiatry as a career.

At the graduate education level, we have had accreditation reviews of all our training programs. All four programs received outstanding reviews and full accreditation. A special congratulation goes to James Knoll for his promotion just this week to full professor, to John Manring, who was awarded Upstate Graduate Medical Education Program Director of the Year, and to Roger Greenberg, who was chosen by NYSPA to receive the Joanne Lifshin Mentorship Award.